Innate immunity is the first-line of defense against invading pathogens and RNA interference is among the arsenal of hose defense mechanisms against these invading pathogens. Our research focuses on both understanding the molecular mechanisms governing RNA interference and elucidating its role in anti-viral immunity.
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Gene regulation by non-coding RNAs.
Patil VS, Zhou R, Rana TM
Crit Rev Biochem Mol Biol. 2014 Jan-Feb;49(1):16-32
Core small nuclear ribonucleoprotein particle splicing factor SmD1 modulates RNA interference in Drosophila.
Xiong XP, Kurthkoti K, Chang KY, Lichinchi G, De N, Schneemann A, MacRae IJ, Rana TM, Perrimon N, Zhou R
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Oct 8;110(41):16520-5
RNA-based mechanisms regulating host-virus interactions.
Zhou R, Rana TM
Immunol Rev. 2013 May;253(1):97-111
A genome-scale shRNA resource for transgenic RNAi in Drosophila.
Ni JQ, Zhou R, Czech B, Liu LP, Holderbaum L, Yang-Zhou D, Shim HS, Tao R, Handler D, Karpowicz P, Binari R, Booker M, Brennecke J, Perkins LA, Hannon GJ, Perrimon N
Nat Methods. 2011 May;8(5):405-7
A short receptor downregulates JAK/STAT signalling to control the Drosophila cellular immune response.
Makki R, Meister M, Pennetier D, Ubeda JM, Braun A, Daburon V, Krzemień J, Bourbon HM, Zhou R, Vincent A, Crozatier M
PLoS Biol. 2010;8(8):e1000441
A genomewide RNA interference screen for modifiers of aggregates formation by mutant Huntingtin in Drosophila.
Zhang S, Binari R, Zhou R, Perrimon N
Genetics. 2010 Apr;184(4):1165-79
Hierarchical rules for Argonaute loading in Drosophila.
Czech B, Zhou R, Erlich Y, Brennecke J, Binari R, Villalta C, Gordon A, Perrimon N, Hannon GJ
Mol Cell. 2009 Nov 13;36(3):445-56
Processing of Drosophila endo-siRNAs depends on a specific Loquacious isoform.
Zhou R, Czech B, Brennecke J, Sachidanandam R, Wohlschlegel JA, Perrimon N, Hannon GJ
RNA. 2009 Oct;15(10):1886-95
Ars2 regulates both miRNA- and siRNA- dependent silencing and suppresses RNA virus infection in Drosophila.
Sabin LR, Zhou R, Gruber JJ, Lukinova N, Bambina S, Berman A, Lau CK, Thompson CB, Cherry S
Cell. 2009 Jul 23;138(2):340-51
Comparative analysis of argonaute-dependent small RNA pathways in Drosophila.
Zhou R, Hotta I, Denli AM, Hong P, Perrimon N, Hannon GJ
Mol Cell. 2008 Nov 21;32(4):592-9
An endogenous small interfering RNA pathway in Drosophila.
Czech B, Malone CD, Zhou R, Stark A, Schlingeheyde C, Dus M, Perrimon N, Kellis M, Wohlschlegel JA, Sachidanandam R, Hannon GJ, Brennecke J
Nature. 2008 Jun 5;453(7196):798-802
The role of ubiquitination in Drosophila innate immunity.
Zhou R, Silverman N, Hong M, Liao DS, Chung Y, Chen ZJ, Maniatis T
J Biol Chem. 2005 Oct 7;280(40):34048-55
Genome-wide RNAi analysis of JAK/STAT signaling components in Drosophila.
Baeg GH, Zhou R, Perrimon N
Genes Dev. 2005 Aug 15;19(16):1861-70
Immune activation of NF-kappaB and JNK requires Drosophila TAK1.
Silverman N, Zhou R, Erlich RL, Hunter M, Bernstein E, Schneider D, Maniatis T
J Biol Chem. 2003 Dec 5;278(49):48928-34
A Novel cDNA Encoding Ubiquitin-conjugating Enzyme of Homo sapiens.
Zhou R, Ao SZ
Sheng Wu Hua Xue Yu Sheng Wu Wu Li Xue Bao (Shanghai). 1998;30(2):125-131
Rui Zhou's Research Focus
The Zhou laboratory is employing a combination of biochemical, genetic and functional genomic approaches to study the molecular mechanism governing the biogenesis of small interfering RNAs and microRNAs, core components of RNA interference (RNAi), and to elucidate the function of these small non-coding RNAs in innate immunity, the first line of defense against invading microbial pathogens.
Rui Zhou's Research Report
Higher organisms, including human beings, face challenges from both extrinsic pathogens (bacteria, fungi and viruses) and intrinsic transposons (mobile DNA elements that can jump around the genome, causing developmental defects and pre-disposition to cancer). RNAi is among the arsenal of host defense mechanisms to combat both extrinsic pathogens (viruses) and intrinsic challenges (transposons). Our laboratory is employing biochemical, genetic and functional genomic approaches to study the molecular mechanism governing RNAi.
By employing a genome-wide screening approach, we have identified >100 candidate RNAi factors in the model organism Drosophila melanogaster and determined the molecular function of several of them in small interfering RNA/microRNA biogenesis and in anti-viral immunity. We are currently studying the function of selected RNA-binding/processing factors in RNAi. In addition, we are interrogating the role of selected microRNAs as modulators of the innate immune response against bacterial and fungal infection. These studies will advance our understanding of both the molecular mechanism and biological function of RNAi, and provide insights into the evolutionarily conserved mammalian counterparts.
About Rui Zhou
Rui Zhou earned his B.Sc. in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology from Peking University and M.S. in Biochemistry from Shanghai Institute of Biochemistry. He then trained with Dr. Tom Maniatis at Harvard University for doctoral studies in Molecular and Cellular Biology. After postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School in the laboratory of Dr. Norbert Perrimon, Dr. Zhou was recruited to the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute in 2011.
Harvard University, Ph.D. in Biochemistry, 2003
Harvard University, M.A. in Biology, 2000
Shanghai Institute of Biochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, M.Sc. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 1997
Peking University, B.Sc. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 1994